Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Coarsley ground black pepper
2 c. reduced-fat milk
1 can (13-15 oz.) chicken broth
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 lbs. broccoli, cut into 1 inch pieces (including stems)
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.  Stir in flour, salt, thyme, nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and 1 1/2 c. water; add broccoli and heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.

Cool slightly.  In blender at low speed, blend broccoli mixture in small batches until very smooth.  Return soup to soup pot; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted and smooth.  Sprinkle each serving with coarsely ground black pepper.


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